Immodesty Satan's Virtue
Chapter 4 (Part 3)

      It is at our exterior that we begin when training our interior. Ven. Louis of Granada tells us in ‘The Sinners Guide’ that our exterior and interior virtues are dependent on each other for their sustenance. Our exterior is a reflection of our interior virtues; it is the vine that supports the “fruit” of our interior virtues. Even Religious know this as they train their novices to hold their tongue, walk quietly, and of course wear the habit that will be theirs for life. The movie, ‘The Nun’s Story’ shows this wonderfully for those of us who will never see the inside of a convent.

     Bishop Williamson goes on to say, “Clothing divided for the legs obviously liberates the mobile lower half of the body for a number of activities for which clothing undivided like a skirt is relatively cumbersome. Adam then having to earn his family’s bread by the sweat of all kinds of activities outside the home, it is entirely normal for the man to wear trousers, and if a girl gets it into her head to join him in these activities, obviously trousers likewise emancipate her to do so. Shorts are the outward visible sign of her liberation from the restricted range of homemaking activities.” 9B.

     This uneasiness, in wearing pants, is more apparent in someone whose conscience has not yet been dulled by the wearing of pants. I can see the difference in my own girls who have grown up more or less completely in dresses. Being young they have not yet been exposed to society’s idea of “woman” and they are insulted when they see a woman in immodest clothing or in pants. Because they are young, I have to remind them of the gift of being a girl and explain why we have chosen to wear dresses at all times. But our eldest daughter now sixteen, has a greater sense of femininity then even I did, because she grew up for most of her life in dresses. Her actions and manners are more womanly, where I still feel I lack them at times. It is almost as if growing up wearing pants leaves a scar on femininity. When femininity has not been developed in young girls it is a very difficult for them to discover it later to the full extent that it should be. Young girls naturally develop this feminine trait when they are brought up solely in dresses. This may seem like nonsense but it is only after a girl is grown up and all that time has been lost that one discovers the damage that was inflicted so subtly on her soul and inner womanhood. When there is no alternative to dresses, girls grow up learning how to do activities in their dresses. If we find that we cannot do an activity then we should not be doing it. Bishop Williamson says, “When activities are proposed to you requiring trousers, if it is something your great-grandmother did, then find a way of doing it, like her, in a skirt. And if your great-grandmother did not do it, then forget it!” I am so very glad that my girls will not have missed this beautiful aspect of their growth into womanhood.

      Many would argue that modern life makes trousers necessary for women, Bishop Williamson responds to that with this, “if modern life necessitates…she forfeits her womanliness or her modesty, then modern life is not viable, and will destroy itself, as, arguably, it has already gone a long way to doing…that woman be womanly and that her womanliness be protected by her man, is not an optional extra, it is an absolute necessity for human survival.” 9. This changes this whole modesty issue into a battle for the revival of true womanhood and salvation of families, and truly this is the heart of the whole issue of modesty for women.

     What more needs to be said, but that we have been duped? We have been fooled into believing that we could dress like men, act like men – but for what? To be like men? But we are women! We should want to be like women, as God made us. Here is where we can truly be fulfilled: as women, as mothers, in imitation of the Blessed Mother. Our purpose is to raise man’s vision to eternal truths, because men are too busy looking for answers here. God made woman to be man’s helpmate. But how can we be man’s helpmate, if we are too busy being “like men?” Women must regain their femininity, recover their lost modesty, balance society again, and in this way turn the direction that we are heading back toward God. It is our duty to discover the true womanhood God has given us and regain what has been lost for our sake, our family’s and society’s at large!

     Our Lady of Fatima was very serious about modesty dress. Practicing modesty in dress will please Our Lady because it will eliminate much sin, which will in turn help save souls from hell and will then help to preserve peace in the world. It is Our Lady’s Peace Plan!

     In a highly visual age like this one, modesty in dress is even more important. It makes an even stronger statemen today. It combats the glare of the world’s nakedness. If there are enough women in the world to truly accept the vocation of women and really fulfil it, it is they who will save from ruin and turn to good the social tide. The fate of the world is really up to us, although men or women all have a duty toward modesty. But it is true as we women have a larger part to play. Since it is, we who maintain the standard of chastity in the world, Satan would love to have us believe that this isn’t so. But a woman’s loss of modesty is directly related to her loss of femininity and Satan is very clever to keep this knowledge hidden. He is well aware that if he can get a woman to abandon her femininity he can shortly after convince her that her modesty is unimportant. Next, her chastity will be at risk. And then we have an entire society, steeped in immodest dress and impurity because femininity and modesty have been left behind! 13.

     So, you can see just how important this whole issue of modesty is. It is much more than simply obeying the ‘law’; it plays a large part in recovering the good that has been lost from society. It is a small way that we can play our part in combating the evil that has gripped our age. Souls fall to hell each day from sins of the flesh, and to save these souls someone must be willing to ‘pray’ the price. There is a cost to saving souls, they must be ransomed from the clutches of hell, for that is where they are destined to go. Each and every one of us must choose to ‘Sacrifice ourselves for sinners,’ as Our Lady asked. But who is willing to pay the price necessary to save a soul?

     We must realize that Christ asked us to love God with all our hearts, with all our minds and all our souls and to love our neighbour as ourself. We have been called to love. And we must love with the compassion of Christ, we must be willing to bear the sins of the world in our hearts, as Christ did, and to be moved to compassion that will lead us to pray and sacrifice for sinners, as Our Lady asked at Fatima. Here is the true vocation of women in the world today. 13.

     One last point I would like to make on the wearing of pants is that we cannot forget that mini skirts are still unacceptable even if they are a ‘lesser evil’. They are still a highly immodest skirt. And a lesser ‘evil’, so to speak, is still an evil. The wearing of anything whether it is pants or a mini skirt must be judged on how modestly feminine it is. Is this clothing that was originally designed for a man (such as pants)? Or does it show a lack femininity due to the vulgarity of the exposing style, like a mini-skirt? This will ultimately help us to see which clothes are improper. But lacking that, we have all the specific advice given to us through the Church. Simple guidelines might make some people complain that you cannot make things so explicit. But I say, would you not rather have some very specific measurements about what ‘is’ and what ‘isn’t’ rather than having to guess for yourself and perhaps being deluded by the imposing views of society? The Church considered specifics important because when they first began sounding the alarm, people were still not hearing their advice. Therefore, these guidelines were set to help people understand just what the Church meant. It may be hard to believe, but living in a world so enveloped in immodesty can affect our own better judgement. This is one of the reasons why the Church gave us a ‘ruler’ with which to ‘measure’ our clothing. Just as God thought it was important to give us guidelines to live by with the Ten Commandments, so through the Church, He gives us guidelines for modest dress.

     Just what are the specific guidelines that we have been given? Inspired by the late Fr. Kunkel, these guidelines have been adapted, expanded and updated from the Marylike Crusader, when Fr. Kunkel adapted them from the 1930 Decree from Rome. We call these:
     1. Looking to Mary as our Guide and model, we see that Her dresses in all approved apparitions fully cover Her from head to wrists to feet. Should we accept any less for ourselves? Ask yourself, have you ever seen the Blessed Mother portrayed in anything less than this? Have you ever seen her in any of Her approved apparitions with even Her head uncovered? Could you imagine Her in any of the fashions of today even seemingly simply loose-fitting PANTS? We should therefore follow Her example and not follow any of the worldly fashions.

     2. Marylike dresses have sleeves that extend at least to the elbows. This excludes, sleeveless dresses, tops, short sleeves or cap sleeves. (Note: quarter length sleeves are tolerated, with Ecclesiastical Approval, for the time being until Christian womanhood again turns to Mary as the model for Modesty in dress.)

     3. Skirts and dresses, following the direction of Padre Pio, should extend at least 8” inches below the knee. This would also exclude mini or micro skirts. They are also to be full enough to conceal the figure of the wearer and not reveal. Just because it is a dress does not mean that it is modest. If the dress is too narrow, or has a dropped waist or is designed to emphasize unduly parts of the body, it would be considered immodesty and not appropriate for wear. Flesh coloured fabrics, giving the illusion from a distance of ‘flesh’ are improper at all times.

     4. Dresses should fully cover the chest, back, and shoulders. The neckline should not exceed two inches below the pit of the throat, nape of the neck of sides. We may not admit as modesty transparent fabrics, laces, nets, organdy, nylons, etc. unless sufficient backing is added. These may be used as trimmings. This would also eliminate tight sweaters, blouses or shirts.

     5. This list would also exclude pants, slacks, culottes, jeans, shorts because they are considered men’s attire, and harmful for women and society at large. They are also against God’s command in Deut. 22:5. Most unbecoming also is sloppy looking clothing such as jogging pants and oversized t-shirts for both women and men.

     6. Swimwear for women must at all costs be modest. The soul of another could be at stake! Due to the impure society in which we live, all public pools should be off limits. A Pastoral letter of Archbishop Santos stated, “Mixed bathing in beaches is…inadmissible.” 19. Try instead to have your own swimming pool or better still to find some other worthy activity. Even in ideal conditions modesty must be preserved. Unfortunately, women will not find appropriate swimwear in any store in this country. Except for Lilies of the Field (see Catholic Resourses Appendix), who offers a reasonably modest swimsuit and there is an 1890’s style suit in Part II that is worth looking into. Otherwise, one could simply wear a dark t-shirt under a vest, and long bike shorts under a below knee length skirt (8 inches), as a substitute. One could also do as I have done and simply discontinue swimming as a penance for the immodesty of others.

     7. Our Children need to be taught from the youngest age, the importance of proper attire that is modest and becoming and feminine for women. These guidelines are designed to instill a sense of modesty in both boys and girls and a sense of femininity in girls and women and hopefully masculinity in boys and men.

     Be sure to always sew or purchase clothing that matches these guidelines so that you will not be an occasion of sin or a source of embarrassment to yourself or others.
“Down in adoration fallin, Lo! The Sacred Host we hail…”
Church Attire
     Our Lord must be so very offended by the indecent dress of people at the Altar. How sad this is. One would expect that at least the Church would be a haven of sensibility. A place of solace where truth prevails and so does the law of God. Sadly, the ‘Smoke of Satan,’ has entered even here. It has left no corner untouched. One sees men wearing shorts or jogging pants and tight t-shirts and woman in tight pants, or jeans or, God forbid, shorts or a mini skirt! I myself along with my own family have had to sit directly behind a woman in very tight and revealing shorts during Mass. I cannot understand how this attire has become acceptable to some people as Church attire, or as clothing on the street. I was so very offended, since my own husband was right there beside me having nowhere else to look. But I thought, if I am offended. I cannot even imagine our pure and humble Lord, present in His ‘Prison of Love’. How much more offended He must be!

     It is for this offense against the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar that I beseech you to hear these words I so humbly write to you. It is for these offences that we must be willing to be modest and pure at all costs. And for our great love of this Most Blessed Sacrament, we must be willing to make reparation for the offences committed each day, but especially for those committed right at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where Our Savior and King becomes truly present! As Our Lord sits and waits for us in His little Prison of Love – the Tabernacle, we offend Him by forgetting He is there! Or worse we seem not to believe in the most basic truth that our Faith has taught us, that this is the True Presence of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament!

     Reading about a visit that Pope John Paul II made to the United States a few years ago I discovered this most beautiful story. He was visiting a seminary and rather than speak to the seminarians, as was planned, he walked right past them and headed for the Chapel. His guards, taken by surprise, rushed on ahead of him with their dogs to go over the place before the Pope got there. When the dogs reached the empty Chapel, they went directly to whined and barked signaling to their handlers that they had found someone (which is what they are trained to do). Their guards thinking they were mistaken tried to take them away by they would not budge. They were positive they had found somebody there in that empty Chapel. Only when they were directly commanded to leave did they leave. What was it that they found? The True Presence of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar!! That is WHO they found! 12. And if you and I as Catholics know and believe this, why would we ever want to offend Our Lord who is there right in our midst?

     And how is it that we have managed to forget the poor priests who celevbrate this Mass for us?  Where is our respect for them when we wear clothes that expose parts of our bodies to these consecrated priests of God? Do we imagine that they are not human? How would an immodestly dressed woman not affect a Priest? Is it any wonder to hear of all the priests who leave the religious life because of great difficulties that they have with adhering to their vows of celibacy? Why must these priests, who have chosen to sacrifice themselves, to be able to celebrate Calvary for us, be forced to see exposed skin in front of them? As they struggle with the same temptations as any other normal man, what horror would it be for them to be presented with these temptations to sin, right before celebrating the Mass! Or the young altar boys serving at the altar, trying to remain pure all the while having to see such showing of flesh? These boys, serving at the altar will have no chance of Confession once they are up at the altar. Woe to the woman who may be the cause of either the priest or altar boy(s) falling, at the altar of Our Lord!

     We must regain the respect we once had for our holy priests and the young boys on the altar as well. Recognizing their humanness and helping them to remain pure, by adhering to the Church’s standards of modesty is our duty. Is it any wonder that we are lacking vocations? The call of the flesh is very powerful and it is getting to these young men before they have the change of fulfilling their vocation. Satan is using his old tricks again by luring young men away from their priestly calling! Woe, to those women, aware or not, who consent to be the instruments used by Satan to accomplish this fall. We see again, how much depends on the response of women!

     Right about now some of you are saying, “You’ve got to be kidding about this!” I know, I know, but bear with me for a moment as I explain. This subject is not meant to divide us as Catholics, it is meant to unite us to a common dress code, a universal one – a Catholic one! St. John Chrysostom says, “Where virtue is, there are many snares.” And so, it is with modesty. Since the practice of this virtue has within it great treasures and graces to be discovered, is it any wonder that the devil uses this issue to divide us into picking or taking sides, or simply making us believe it is unimportant? He wants us to be distracted, so that he can continue in his work of entrapping souls!

     At the beginning of this book, I outlined the different statements made throughout history concerning modest dress. This included very specific recommendations from some earlier Popes. In the last 100 years there has been more said about modesty than in the entire previous history of the Church. But this is also the century that has witnessed the opening of floodgates allowing every possible type of dress to be introduced and adopted by Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Even the majority of our Religious, have sadly, given up their own habits and instead have chosen secular dress, to the detriment of their Orders!

     My own daughter, who is now 14, was fervently interested in the Religious Life until she discovered that her favorite order wore a shortened habit and others wear none at all! Since then, she has been firmly against the idea of Religious life; it simply turned her off from it completely. At a young age, children are attracted to the Religious life by its exterior and this is one reason why the religious habit is so important. It is a visible example of the sacrifice religious have made of the world (and its fashions) as spouses of Christ. This helps children to develop a reverence and awe for Religious Life. Later, when they have maintained their interest, they will be prepared to investigate the more spiritual reasons for choosing the Religious Life. Recently our oldest, Sierra, after seeing an old movie called The Nun’s Story, was inspired again to think of Religious life. The exterior dress of Religious is vitally important to their orders and to new vocations. Please, I ask all Religious: continue to wear the dress of your order for your own sake and for the sake of future vocations!!

     Satan has been taking this issue very seriously with regard to the laity and religious, and it is time that we do the same! We cannot afford to simply say this is modesty ENOUGH. We must be modest, PERIOD. At one time, there was not a question of what was – and was not – modest. The clothing was simple. Dresses to the floor for women were standard. Women grew up in the them, worked in them, and grew old in them. There was no thought of an alternative. Men worked in their clothing and never considered having to remove their shirts as that simply wasn’t proper. Now anything goes. Before we did not have clothing such as swimsuits, bikinis, miniskirts and other perversions to choose from. So, there were fewer choices and more modesty. But with the progress(?) of man, and democracy we have discovered all that can possibly be invented. Often this has been good society, but as society became Godless, these discoveries began to show the traits of man’s Godlessness too. Inventions from the mind of man without reason of God are simply – abominable! How can the majority of lay people be modest if they do not exactly know just what that level of modesty is in the Church’s eyes? It is much harder now, to have to week through the mire of fashion to discover just what is modest. This is the reason the Church has seen fit to give us some guidelines to help us in this manner. I list them here so that all of the guidelines handed down to us can be seen at once. This is the goal for every woman is she is not there yet! I encourage you to follow these guidelines and see what blessings will come down from heaven because you chose to be modest according to the Church’s guidelines.

     Do not even think for a moment that following the above guidelines will hamper your ability to wear beautiful clothing! On the contrary! It is wise to learn from our past and keep what is good. That is just what can be done today. As you will see in Part II there are many creative ways to work within these guidelines and not look like a prude!

     The following are some guidelines from the Marylike Crusader on the:

Proper Code of Attire for Church and Other Sacred Places
     Our of Reverence for All Holy God, I am Resolved to Carry Out the Following Code:

     1. While I am determined always to dress with Marylike modesty, both at home and in public, I intend to be especially careful to do so when visiting any place dedicated to God. This includes, besides churches and chapels, also outdoor shrines, rectories, seminaries, monasteries, convents, retreat houses, hospitals, and other Catholic institutions.

     2. Above all else, I want to show the greatest possible reverence when in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, especially during Holy Mass. Therefore, I will never come to church unless I am wearing clothes that give me full coverage and that in every way befits the most sacred place on earth. I know it is in this spirit that Canon Law directs that in church, “women should be modestly dressed, especially when they approach the Holy Table.” (Canon 1262:2)

     3. In making decisions about proper church attire, I will always consider God and His honour first, not myself. Accordingly, I will never use comfort as an excuse for improper church wear, nor will I follow the bad example of others. To show that I am not an unthinking slave of pagan fashion, I will always insist on truly Christian fashions which do not even approach the improper but keep a good distance from it.

     4. I know that God is offended, often very grievously, by women and girls who show so little dignity as to come to Church, even to Holy Mass and Holy Communion, while wearing clothes that overexpose and overemphasize the figure, especially the bosom; low-cut and revealing, transparent and sleeveless, and especially shorts, or any other clothing (This includes skirts above 8 inches below the knee) that is not in keeping with the holiness and dignity of the place.

     5. It is my firm conviction that reverent decorum and Christian good taste forbid women and girls to come to church, or to any other place dedicated to God, while wearing such unbecoming attire as pedal pushers and slacks, and especially shorts, or any other clothing that is not in keeping with the holiness and dignity of the place.

     6. I readily understand why the Church has instructed that “girls and woman who are immodestly dressed are to be refused Holy Communion and excluded from the office of sponsor in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation; and in proper cases are even to be excluded from the church.” (By order of Pope Pius XI)

     7. I agree that the principles of proper clothing apply, as the case may require, also to men and boys.

     8. If I find that I have provoked the just anger of God by improper attire whether in church or elsewhere, I will humbly acknowledge and confess these sins, amend my ways, and make reparation to the offended Divine Majesty.

     9. Out of love for God and our Immaculate Lady, I will insist on proper clothing, especially for church, of all who are subject to me, knowing that I must face the wrath of God for any indifference or negligence or hostility on my part.
Nihil Obstat: Leonard A. Bauer, S.T.D., V.G,
Censor Librorum
Imprimatur: Albert R. Zuroweste, D.D.
Bishop of Belleville
     These guidelines are available in leaflet form. Contact the ‘Martyrs of Purity’ Crusade at the address at the back.
“Moreover, let all the women have their heads veiled with a scarf but not with a veil of linen only, for that is not a sufficient covering.”
St. Hippolytus
     This is a subject that has been all but forgotten for many women but we are going to introduce it here, to some of you for the first time.

     Head coverings or mantillas were traditionally always worn by women in Church, following St. Paul in 1 Cor. 11:5-7 St. Paul tells us, “But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But, if it be shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head.” These are very strong words and it is from here that the Church has always derived the Tradition of women covering their heads not only in Church, but in the past at all times. I often wondered just what the reason was for women to have their heads covered at all times, a custom still observed in some countries where at least some kind of kerchief covering was always worn. Thinking this over one day I realized that: If one is conversing with God all day, as we should as a contemplative in the world, it makes sense that we should have our heads covered since we are always in His presence. Perhaps it is time, that we ‘caught up’ with this old tradition and adopt it for ourselves head coverings at all times. This would surely solve the problem of the ‘bad hair day’ wouldn’t it? It’s just a thought…

     St. Paul goes on to tell us, “Therefore ought the woman to have a power (veil) over her head, because of the (presence) of angels (at Holy Mass)” 1 Cor. 11:10. Imagine, all of the Holy Angels present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; we are told that they are too numerous for us to imagine. But this passage from St. Paul is telling us that they are offended when a woman attends Mass with her head uncovered. This is reason enough to understand why we are required to wear head coverings, but we will look a little further still.

     Another reason is that we are members of a well-ordered Church. The pope us under God, the Bishops are under the Pope, the Priests are under the Bishops, the people are under the Priests and woman is under man. Now this is not bad! On the contrary, we are told it is better to be under obedience to someone than to be one who decides since obedience is regarded more highly by God. So, the main reason for women to cover their heads is to “show their reverence and submission to God while praying.” 10. It also shows our submission and respect for our husband who “is the image of God the Father and the reflection of His glory...while woman, in turn, is the reflection of man’s glory.” “This submission is expressed by wearing a veil, once again, not because of some inherent law of nature, but because this was the custom of the Churches at that time.” One must realize, when St. Paul was writing to the early Church this was nearly 2000 years ago. That means that women have been covering their heads since then. For the last 2000 years! And only now, because of some misinformation women have put their mantillas away. Head coverings are part of the history of our Faith and worship! They are part of the tradition of the Church and deserve to be pulled out of those dusty drawers and put back on!

     Now, many people today may think that this is all old news and is simply not followed any longer. But Our Lord never changes. And there is a reason for your confusion. The old Canon Law #855 & 1262, No. 2 stated “Let those who are going to receive Holy Communion be decently dressed. Women who heads are not covered and who are improperly dressed are to be excluded from the Sacrament, as Canon Law directs.” When the Canon Law was revised in 1983, only the changes were listed and so since Canon Law 1262.2 about women’s headcoverings was not changed, this means it is still a valid law of the Church! Since women wearing headcoverings has existed ever since the beginning of the Church it was simply taken to granted that it would continue. But on June 21, 1969, during Vatican II a reporter asked Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, then secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, whether women must still wear head coverings, he replied that they were discussing other issues and it was not on the agenda. A statement about Msgr. Bugnini, released by United Press International stated, “A Vatican official says there has been no change, as reported; in the Roman Catholic rule that women cover their heads in church. The Rev. Anibale Bugnini, a secretary of the New Congregation for Divine Worship, said the reports stemmed from a misunderstanding of a statement he made a news conference in May. ‘The rule has not been changed,’ he said. ‘It is a matter of general discipline. It began as a custom in the time of St. Paul and was later incorporated into canon law.’” 28. Somehow this first statement in May, led the reporters to believe that it was no longer necessary and the press announced just that to the world the very next day! When this error was finally corrected in June, it was too late, and many papers didn’t carry the correction and so women have been left all these years with the mistaken impression that it is okay to go to Mass with our heads uncovered! What massive misinformation! 10.

      I only discovered this information myself three years ago. And frequently I feel as if I have been robbed of the truths of my Faith that I am entitled to so that I may live an authentic Catholic life, a privilege of all the Saints. But rather than be angry I am so very grateful to Our Lord, for leading me to those special people who have introduced me to these things and helped me to see the fullness of the Faith which I was only seeing partly. We began at home, during our evening Rosary and slowly began wearing them to Church. The girls think it’s just fun, but for mom, my pride kept my head uncovered for far longer than it should have been and I can only now see the wrongness of my ways. My glory is in having my head covered, so why would I want to go without a covering? Many other women at our Church wear them too and now that I understand why, I am more willing to swallow my pride and humble myself before My Lord, who desires my head covered. I do it to show Him my love and devotion and because as a woman I know it is my place to have my head covered.

     The Church has been quite clear and has not left us wondering on such an important topic as this. Everywhere we look in the last nearly 100 years the Church has been clearly defining where to draw the line for modesty attire. Often this information doesn’t make it down undistorted to the masses though. It is as if these were a conspiracy…and perhaps there is. But when the information does make it to us undiluted, it is up to us to listen.
To Christian modesty it is not enough to be so, but to seem so too.”
Tertullian, on woman’s dress
Modesty, what else does it include?
     Obviously, it would be useless to dress modestly while talking immodestly or acting immodestly. Modesty includes the whole person including their thoughts, actions and being.

     Modesty is a fruit of the Holy Ghost, so St. Paul tells us in Gal. 5:22-23. St. Thomas Aquinas explains it to us this way, “that the fruits (of the Holy Ghost) tend to lift man to what is greater than himself…beyond the reach of natural reason.” 20. Therefore, we can assume, that this fruit of the Holy Ghost is one that should be cultivated as all other fruits such as charity, peace, faith, and others. Modesty is the safeguard of chastity, whereas chastity means control of the sex instinct or appetite in accordance with the sixth commandment. 15.

     The Catechism of the Council of Trent gives us many reflections to deter us from sinning against the sixth commandment. On page 436, it tells us how the Bible abounds in examples of God’s punishments among the various tribes that practiced impurity including the destruction of Sodom and neighbouring cities, punishments of the Israelites, slaughter of the Benjamites and more. These examples alone should deter us from practicing what the Council of Trent calls impurity, ‘a filthy sin’.

     Thus, we should mention that modesty encompasses body, mind and will. A wonderful resource that details much of what modesty is, in ‘The Spiritual Life’ by Adolf Tanquerey. Let us read his wonderful words of wisdom… “Our Lord recommended to His disciples the moderate practice of fasting and abstinence, the mortification of sight and of touch.” He goes on to quote St. Paul who says, “But I chastise my body and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.” 1 Cor. 9:27. He explains that for the soul to be of services to the body it must be cut off from the yearnings of the flesh, which is best accomplished by mortifying the senses. “The senses are but many openings for forbidden pleasure” he says. So, without mortifications we will become weak toward forbidden pleasures. Now here is the real motive for practising modesty.

     It should be noted, that if it is one’s intention to willfully tempt others to impurity by one’s immodesty, it is always, objectively, a mortal sin no matter how slight the immodesty may be. At the very least it is venial, and this is a good enough reason for practicing modesty in dress and deportment, both personally and socially.

    But just how does one practically apply these standards and practice modesty?

    Well little Jacinta, so moved by the numbers of souls lost each day decided to give up dancing, something which she loved. One day she announced, “I am not going to dance anymore.” When Lucia asked why not, she replied, “Because I want to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord.” Now remember this was not the dancing we see today. These were the folk dances popular during the time and in the country where she lived, but she decided to give them up anyhow as a sacrifice. I would say that today, considering the awful dances that have been invented and the great danger to purity they represent that it would be fitting for dancing today, to be given up as well. The twist, which is a much tamer version than the newer dances of today, is much the same as the sensual tribal dances of primitive people. Mary Reed Newland in, “Children Grow Up” says, “A missionary friend told us of working with Indians in the Northwest who annually held a tribal gathering at which they danced to music not unlike rock and roll with its persistent beat, performing steps and motions much the same as those used in contemporary dancing, and all for the purpose of assuring that the young men and women of the tribe would mate…” This sounds much the same as the impure dancing of today where people are doing much more than the twist! Parents be strong and forbid your children any type of dancing, or impure music as well! And if you are a young adult reading this be sure to steer clear of this for the sake of your purity! It is a great start to learning the beginnings of mortifications which are necessary to the spiritual life.

      Well, not all of us like to dance so some more common ways of mortifying one’s sense would be to observe faithfully the prescriptions of modesty presented here. Mortifications and sacrifices are always asked of us by Our Lady at Her apparitions. “Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father’s anger…” Our Lady of Akita said. 25.

     Quoting Fr. Tanquerey once again, he goes on to say that our rule to follow is where St. Paul says, “Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ…that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost?” 1 Cor. 5:15, 19. So, as we consider the God that dwells within us we should have no problem adorning ourselves with simply and plain attire that is befitting to our place in life. There should be no question about following the latest fashions which are obviously made for no other purpose than to incite evil thoughts in those around us!

     When we feel attracted to these modern fashions, we should stop for a moment and consider just why it is that we are attracted to them. What is it that is really attracting us? Is it perhaps a style, that, although modest on most points, is a style that is “teasing” to those who would see us? The fashion industry is very clever in making styles like this and we must be aware and prayerfully consider the purchases we make especially when we are trying to buy within the fashions of today. In an address of Pope Pius XII to the Latin Union of High Fashion in 1957 the Pope said, “Among the objective elements that concur to make an immodest style here is, first and foremost the evil intention of its makers. Where these seek to create unchaste ideas and sensations through their fashions there is present a technique of disguised malice.” This could have been said today for the immodest styles that are promoted as being ‘in’. For instance, the eyes are naturally drawn to areas of contrast so when a hem is placed against bare skin, or a bodice designed in such a way as to emphasize the bust area, these areas will be centers of attention. Fashions even though seemingly modest, have been made immodest. In this way modern fashion lines can completely cover but still manage to draw attention to areas we should want hidden. Sticking to simple classic styles will help us avoid falling into the trap of wearing clothing that may not meet the guidelines of modesty. Classic styles are always ones that are never ‘out of style’.

     Again, in the same address by Pope Pius XII we read, “The garment must not be evaluated according to the estimation of a decadent or already corrupt society, but according to the aspirations of a society which prizes the dignity and seriousness of its public attire.” How true these wonderful words ring, spoken so long ago but so relevant for today!

     The Pope goes on to mention that good deportment is also an excellent way of mortifying the flesh without endangering our health or drawing attention to ourselves. Examples would include things like poor posture and ungraceful movements and avoiding anything that makes us lack poise. Isn’t it amazing how there is an overall lack of good posture today? In fact, it is the ‘style’ to walk only half erect and look as if one has just rolled out of bed! Are we, literally, evolving into the animal they like us to believe we evolved from?

     In ‘Children Grow up’. Mary Reed Newland says that “For a girl to sit in a ladylike way is not a matter of prudishness but is the ancient wisdom respecting the quality of stimulation that affects a boy…Precautions seem to be prudishness only when one is too naïve or too ignorant to understand the pattern of courtship…” We can see her wisdom here, for there is a general lack of femininity in most girls today and there is a good reason for it to be revived again. Boys are less excited by a girl with good deportment who carries herself well and does not draw attention to herself unnecessarily, compared to a girl who looks like she just rolled out of bed and is generally immodest.

     Modesty it has been said, is practiced through all our senses. When practiced through all our senses it “defends the stronghold of the pure soul by putting up fortifications on all sides.

     It the enemy of pure would wishes to attack to purity of heart, he will first of all have to batter down the forts that modesty has put up in defense of purity. So long as, with the grace of God, these forts remain unconquered, purity of heart and mind will be safe from all harm.” These are the words of Rev. Renold Kuehnel in ‘Conferences for Young Women’.
Chapter 7 (Part 2)

Custody of the Eyes
     So, beginning with the first sense, modesty includes the eyes. Since we are aware of just how alluring eyes can be it is no wonder, they alone are used in so many advertisements. This alone tells us that the same eyes can also be used in a very immodest way. The eyes can bring into the soul those images which are gravely sinful and in this age of technology this can happen without searching for them. One must have been practising modesty of the eyes, and mortifications of the sense simply to be able to pull one’s eyes away from such filth. Rev. Kuehnel mentions how we should notice the eyes of the Blessed Virgin in Her statues and pictures. Her eyes are always lifted heavenwards or downcast, “to teach us that we must guard our eyes if we wish to preserve modesty.”

     One barely need mention, the horrendous sinfulness in pornographic materials and the effect on the reader. St. Maria Goretti at the young age of twelve, became a modern martyr of purity. She was killed in 1902 because she refused to tarnish her purity and instead gave up her life to protect it. Later, her attacker Alessandro wrote this statement, “I ask pardon of the world of the outrage done to the martyr Maria Goretti and to purity. I exhort everyone to keep away from immoral shows, from dangers, from occasions that can lead to sin.” 11. His confession proves the connection between pornography and the increase in crimes of this type. Our highly pornographic society is surely the cause of the high rate of crimes of a sexual nature. You must understand that many of the movies that are put out today are mostly pornographic to one degree or another. One cannot go to a movie or rent a new one that will not have at least some impure scene in it or suggested. Time and time again, even the children’s movies that are being introduced are considered soft pornography as they make all kinds of suggestive ‘jokes’ and the women are portrayed quite seductively. I would highly suggest that you only rent old movies or begin your own collection of purely Catholic movies for your family. Catholic movies can also be rented (see Resources). Otherwise, simply stay away from them! Your soul and the souls of your children are at stake!

     Eccles. 9:5 says, “For many have perished by the beauty of a woman and hereby lust is enkindled as a fire.” And Fr. Kunkel goes on to explain the importance of this in his Handbook where he says that one may look nine times with no problem, only for the tenth time to become an occasion of sin. He says it is better to save ourselves from the start by not looking rather than trying to stop the ‘wheels’ after they have begun rolling. Husbands, I encourage you to hear this from Fr. Kunkel, there is no more ‘shopping’! Those looks which to you may seem to be nothing, may one day torment you so much that they are the cause of great strife in your marriage. Satan wishes to destroy good Catholic marriages and this is the one access he can have. One harmless look may come up again one day when our defenses are down and then that harmless look could cause us far more harm than we would have thought! Guard yourselves against this enemy with prayer and control of the eyes. So, for those souls seriously interested in protecting their souls from such, we will want to take Fr. Tanquerey’s advice when he says, mortifying “the sense of sight by repressing idle, curious glances and by duly controlling his eyes in all simplicity without any show of affection.” This also would mean that the proper conduct for any woman or girl in regards to modest looks would be to never engage a man’s eye-contact unless she is engaging in conversation with him. I have personally observed that those young girls who have retained that natural purity and modesty do this naturally which seems to make it a natural part of this virtue. Therefore, it would be a good idea for us all to revive and practice if we do not already practice this. This is also a feminine trait which when practiced will help you to gain the respect due to you as a woman. Fr. Kunkel says that “women (are) the guardians of chastity in the world.” Since woman can either be man’s helpmate or his temptress, either way we affect men for the good or the worse. So, let be for the better!

Keep a Check on the Ears and Tongue too!
      Modesty also includes the ears and the tongue. Rev. Kuehel says that if we look at all the images of the Blessed Virgin we will see that She has Her head covered, hair as well as ears. He says that by this symbolism, “We are given to understand that the Blessed Virgin Mary did not have Her ears open to listen to all that was said.” As we all know there are many things that we try to protect our children from hearing that would destroy their purity. It does not take much for them to hear. Again, living in a most immodest and sinful age it is most important to curtail all those things that would leave us vulnerable to hearing what is improper. This would include most movies, radio, newspapers, magazines, audio tapes and videos besides the obvious television. Only under the strictest supervision can any of these materials be used safely. An excellent example of safe materials would be, most Catholic videos and audios. Don’t forget conversations that can be overheard at gatherings or public places or among the many friends that we or our children can keep. Just recently, at an outing to our small our public library, our eldest daughter, Sierra was jovially questioned that she surely had a boyfriend and that there was nothing wrong with that. When she responded “No,” the questioner teased, “Oh, that’s too bad. Why not, etc.” This is just a small rural library and I as well as my daughter were insulted at the casual breaching of such a delicate subject.

     We can never be too careful when it comes to our children. Today it is not too much to be sure they are not left alone anywhere, if only to preserve their purity. Friends are especially important to children, and are the largest influence on them, for ‘better or worse’. It must be our responsibility to ensure that they are of worthy character at all costs. St. Paul tells us, “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Matt. 5:28. Fr. Godly ways by giving ear to impure conversations or words against their neighbour. Obscene words induce a morbid curiosity, excite the passions, kindle desire, and incite to sin; whilst unkind words stir up strife and divisions even in the home, give rise to suspicion, enmity and rancour.” Rev. Kuehnel says that St. Stanislaus was known to not tolerate an immodesty word and would become faint at the sound of it. His brother Paul was not like this, but would defend his brother and warn his companions to change their conversations when he would come near. He became known as ‘the saint’ whenever he was approaching. Therefore, it goes without saying, anything that we would hear or say that would affect our purity among other virtues, would be forbidden. Knowing children as we do, it is wise to not let them play unsupervised for extended periods as their natural curiosities can lead them to discussing or joking about subject areas that are most improper. This is especially important when your children are with children other that those in your own family.

      Do not give in to the vulgar jests that are so common today as well. Rev. Kuehnel says to never say “a single nasty or double meaning word.” If a remark cannot be said in the presence of your mother, or moreso, in the presence of the Blessed Mother, he says, then it should not be said.
Chapter 7 (Part 3)

Regarding Cosmetics and Perfumes…
     It is interesting to note, Fr. Tanquerey also says this in regard to perfumes, “As to the sense of smell, suffice it to say that the immoderate use of perfumes is often but a pretext for satisfying sensuality, and at times a ruse to excite lust. Earnest Christians should use them with moderation, clerics and religious should never use them.” One only has to take a look at the perfume advertisements or names to understand just what the perfume manufacturer’s intent was and is. They surely do not promote purity and innocence and we must think twice before contributing to these companies that are surely on the path to hell and trying to take our young with them! Or, simply, we should think, from a man’s point of view, how a woman can linger on his mind because of her scent. Would we want to be the occasion of his impurity not just because God made us beautiful but because WE decided to spray some perfume this morning that caused us to linger just a little too long on that poor man’s mind? God forbid!

     Along with perfume, comes the next in line, cosmetics. Just what words are used to describe the eyelashes you will have after using this product? Seductive, alluring, sexy…Why of course, this is exactly what these items do! Making eyes and lips and cheeks even more prominent is no difference that using a highlighter to highlight a line on this page! But more than drawing attention of the wrong kind your way, cosmetics also are a lie. They say, “This is what I look like”. And that is really untrue. It is a deception. For example; imagine a young woman who “puts on her face” each time sees her beau. Then one day, they decide to get married. He wakes up the next morning, to find a face that he is not familiar with, but unlike buying the wrong size, he cannot return her! In “You and Yours”, a book by Fr. Martin J. Scott says, “I beg a young woman who is contemplating marriage to avoid even the slightest deception. Either she is naturally attractive to the young man, or she is not. If she is, she does not need deceptive aids. If she is not, she is like a merchant disposing of goods under false pretense.” He goes on to say, “The girl who paints (her face) loses some of his respect…since a man knows that painting is generally an indication that a woman is older than she cares to admit, he wonders whether she is concealing not only years but defects…(it) makes a man suspicious.” This may all sound absurd in a day and age when young girls are taught to be pretty with make up at three years old! But perhaps, we have been duped again and need to look at this a little more. The world has lied to us before!

     In the Catechism book, “My Catholic Faith”, by Rev. L. Morrow, pg. 223, says, “Be always modest and pure in your dress, posture and conversation. This is not only to save yourself from immodesty, but to avoid giving the occasion for others to sin, or being even an unwitting cause for others to sin. Women who waste countless hours looking at themselves in the mirror, painting their faces and varnishing their nails, or choosing clothes to put on, care more for their body than their soul. They should remember that after death, they will become skull and bones just like the rest, and all their finery will avail them nothing.”

     As a trained cosmetician in my old days and also trained in the study of health, I quickly learned that there is nothing that ages a beautiful face faster than all that paint that smothers the pores day after day. I know how pale I was when I first met my husband, but he would rather I didn’t wear make up. But I would look so terrible if I didn’t, even at only 18! But as time went on and I began to be home with our children I wore it less and less. It took some time but I finally began recovering the colour back in my face again. My husband was so pleased! He is now so happy that I have natural colour and not cosmetics. What is it that is so alluring to young girls about make-up? Many adult women wear it and adulthood and anything associated with that is attractive to young children in general. But not only are cosmetics artificial, they are most unhealthy and will eventually age you in a way that you are trying to avoid by wearing the cosmetics. You pay for it sooner or later. But in all honestly, as an older woman, you will look younger if you have kept your face free from makeup in the early years. A little sun is all that is needed for some healthy colour. So, it really does pay off!
     We only need to consider the stories of the punishments of those in purgatory for vanity and we would no longer be so concerned for our outer appearance beyond what is necessary! In the book called, “Purgatory”, we read, “Souls that allow themselves to be dazzled by the vanities of the world, even if they have the good fortune to escape damnation, will have to undergo terrible punishment.” The goes on to give a story from the “Revelations of St. Bridget”, Book Six, “Happily, before death I confessed my sins in such dispositions as to escape Hell, but now I suffer here to expiate the worldly life that my mother did not prevent me from leading!... This head, which loved to be adorned, and which sought to draw the attention of others, is now devoured with flames withing and without, and these flames are so violent that every moment it seems to me that I must die. These shoulders, these arms, which I loved to see admired, are cruelly bound in chains of red-hot iron. These feet, formerly trained for the dance, are now surrounded with vipers that tear them with their fangs and soil them with their filthy slime; all these members which I have adorned with jewels, flowers, and divers of other ornaments, are now a pray to the most horrible torture.” This sobering story is sure to bring most of us, hopefully all of us, to our sense! Let us never forget it!

     A last word from Fr. Scott, “Of all women who appearance should conform to the most proper standards, Catholics should be conspicuous. Let those who have no religion, or very little, use the arts that deceive and mislead, and very often tempt sin. But a Catholic woman should keep aloof from any such artifices.” As women wanting to do God’s will, we will prayerfully consider all of this, since in the end it is only His Will that matters.

     Another department which Rev. Kuehnel discusses is the imagination. He says to feed it on truth and do not let it run out of control like an uncontrolled fire. Fill your minds instead with noble stories of Saints and virtues and leave all the trashy romance novels for the trash!

     So, as we can see here, we have much direction from religion on what modesty is and what protects it. Let us remember all of these points and refer to them often if necessary. Remembering that the senses are the protection of our soul as we struggle both exteriorly and interiorly for modesty and purity. In the book entitled “Hell” we read that, “…we can step off into it (impurity) gradually, it is being promoted by the agents of the devil through their domination of the mass media, it impinges upon us in immodesty of dress, it is accepted by our corrupted society as “really not too bad, not bad at all” or “not anything to get upset about,” and it is prevalent everywhere and in all sorts of forms. Under the best of circumstances, a person has always to be vigilant and on his guard against falling into some form or other of sins of impurity.” It can be especially difficult today but Our Lord has promised us that His grace would be sufficient for us.

     In this age of tremendous impurity, one cannot stress enough that modesty in dress is the main point in a program of action to regain purity in the world. But modest dress will have little effect if it is just a covering for a spirit of immodesty. Modesty in dress is just the first step to help us to return our interior to modest ways. It is all perfectly summarized on page 240 in the book “Hell,” “The way to achieve purity is through modesty in dress, modesty of the eyes, modesty in our speech, modesty in not listening to lewd stories, modesty in our thoughts, great care in our entertainment (television, movies, plays, books, magazines, pictures, night clubs, the beach, etc.) precaution in not being alone too long with a member of the opposite sex, absolutely avoiding impure people, having recourse continually in prayer to possess the virtue of purity, especially invoking the aid of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, being constant and unrelenting in our determination to avoid or overcome all impurity at whatever price, resorting to prayer immediately upon being tempted, and always having a complete distrust of our strength in resisting temptations against purity…” One only has to consider that willful impurity is a mortal sin and that the most souls that go to Hell are from this sin. All of the Saints agree with this view and even St. Alphonsus Ligouri has stated that the great Fathers and Doctors of the Church “are unanimous in their opinion that most by far of the people who go to Hell go there because of this type of sin.” 24.

     If this is not enough to convince one of the importance of purity one only has to consider the description from St. Bonaventure who states, “If the body of a damned person, were deposited on the earth, that of itself alone would be sufficient to make the earth uninhabitable; it would fill it with its infection, as a corpse that might be left to rot in a house would infect it all the way through.” Is this not, enough to make us understand the importance of practicing all the tenets of modesty? Does this not even inspire us, out of charity for our loved ones, to spread this message of modesty in hopes of saving some, perhaps many from Hell? 24.

      Each one of us, will make the difference like a candle in the darkness, that will slowly bring the light of truth back to this world. Do not allow the devil to make you believe this is an unimportant issue, but through prayer allow yourself to be guided in seeing the truth that modesty must be practiced by everyone!
“The family is more sacred than the state, and men are begotten not for the earth and for time, but for heaven and eternity.”
Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubi
Modesty, Is for Men Also
     This chapter, although meant for men will probably be read first by the many wives who have purchased this book! So, it would be a good idea to let the men read this book or at least this chapter because modesty concerns them too.

     We all are aware that men can be immodest and can be fooled into certain fashions of the day that are also improper. Many men, also think that modesty is primarily for women and it is true that women’s modesty is the key to bringing the world back to its senses. But modesty for men is closely tied with their masculinity. Men have grown up for the past few decades also damaged by our highly sexualized environment. More than women, they are affected by this sometimes unknowingly. Women who practice unisex dressing and immodest dress have slowly forced their way into a man’s world and men, being courteous have let them in to the detriment of their manhood! Women dress immodestly for many reasons, but primarily for attention in one way or another. Men are on the receiving end of the selfish vanity of women and they pay a high price. Having a greater inborn drive, they often are led into committing sinful acts. Woe to those women who are the cause of their frustration!

     A woman’s immodesty not only insults men but steals from them a valuable virtue that is very much connected to their being a man, their honour. Their honour makes them feel a healthy obligation to help a woman carrying a heavy load, for example. The simple visual image of a woman in a dress carrying something heavy will make any man feel the need to offer her help.

     This is why modesty in dress is so important for the restoration of sanity in our society. Something as simply as opening a door for a woman was done because men respected women. Men’s honour led them to help women whenever possible. Women, of course, being truly feminine and humble allowed them and were grateful for their offer of help.

     Some men are insulted by having to view impurity at every turn. Remember, it is mostly women who are portrayed in an advertisement to sell everything and anything. These immodest or scantily clad women are present in billboards, movies, bus stop ads, magazines, newspapers and catalogues! Even modest women are disgusted by them, but at least we are not attracted to them and having to pull ourselves away! Women and men should do all they can to show how much they disapprove of such displays. Refuse to purchase from stores who use these forms of ads to sell items and tell them why you are no longer their customer! Return magazine subscriptions with your reason and demand a refund! Write to newspaper editors when their papers display such ads, which they almost always do! Even the supposed ‘news’ is filled with stories of infidelities and other filth! Stop going to improper movies and throw away all those clothing catalogues filled with immodest displays of fashion! Is it any wonder that the statistics for sex crimes in general has increased significantly in the last 30 years? Be brave, be a ‘martyr of purity’ and defend it at all times!

     But we must realize that men have grown up in a culture that idolizes scantily clad women. Many a man, unfortunately, has never known a modest, or feminine woman. Perhaps, not even their own mother practised modesty! These same men therefore, may scoff at the idea of their wives wearing long dresses all of the time! Some may even complain to their wives! Although a husband may try to discourage his wife, if she should persevere with prayer, she will see the fruits of her sacrifice. Many a secular minded man has come to realize the beauty of a true woman, for the first time perhaps, when his wife persevered in her modest dressing. I want to encourage a wife in this situation and remind her to have compassion for her husband who has had the truth hidden from him by society. ‘With prayer nothing is impossible’. If we truly love our husbands as we should, we will patiently pray for God to convert their hearts to the beauty of modesty. Just as it takes time to appreciate classical music when one has been brought up on ‘junk-rock’ music, it may take time for the appetite, so to speak, to adjust to the natural beauty of a true woman, after the artificial beauty of today’s women. So do not allow yourself to become discouraged!

     Catholic men, especially those who are single, would do well to understand just what a modest woman is. They would do well to read the previous chapters in this book too. This will help them in the wise selection of a wife who will lift up their souls. Proverbs 31:10 tell us, “How hard it is to find a capable wife! She is worth far more than jewels!” The choice of a modesty wife will go a long way to securing for you this jewel who will accompany you through life. It may mean the difference between happiness and suffering!

     Other chapters here include useful information for men as well concerning ‘custody of the eyes’ and ears and so forth. I do hope that they will be read by any man concerned for his own salvation, and in the preservation of the masculinity of true men in society.

     As mentioned previously, “Man himself does not escape from the inclination of exhibiting his flesh: some go in public stripped to the waist, or in very tight pants or in very scanty bathing suits. They thus commit offences against the virtue of modesty. They may also be an occasion of sin (in thought or desire) for our neighbor.”

Guidelines for Honorable Men…

     In keeping with the above Bishop’s statements for men would include the following.

     1. Loose fitting, long pants. Long sleeves and pants are the old rule for men in Church and should be adopted again. Immodest swimwear is most unbecoming and this should be guarded against.

     2. Never is it proper for a man to be without a shirt in public. This also excludes all tight clothing for men.

     Men also can play a part in helping women to regain their modesty. Bishop Williamson has seven practical suggestions for men that we have adapted for you here:

     1. First, men obey God and submit to His law and give the example to your womenfolk who will find it much easier to obey you when they see you are under the law yourselves. Kneel down, in front, (I add, daily) and recite the family Rosary.

     2. Throw out, without mercy, that television set as being the primes poisoner of your mind and the minds of those around you. Waste little time on newspapers (or magazines). The media are vile. (If your TV is kept, use it only for the watching of Catholic videos or documentaries that are available today. Disconnect your cable or antennae so no stations are received. Ed.)

     3. Stop wallowing in Hollywood slush and video mush, which are mostly pornographic and will bring out the beast in you. Romantic movies will weaken your manliness by exalting your feeling over your sense of reason. No amount of “macho” sports will make you a man when your entertainments make you either a beast or a woman.

     4. Give your womenfolk all the affection that they need, even a bit more, (love us as Christ commanded?) but do not wrap yourselves around them. The bean plant wraps around the pole and not the pole around the plant!

     5. Yourselves abstain from, and discourage your womenfolk’s participation in any activity that necessitates immodest dress on their part, such as, athletic competitions, especially when these place women in graceless competition with each other. Fighting may build manliness, but it destroys womanliness. (I witnessed this myself on a documentary that had women body builders in competition. They looked physically more like men that some men do! What is this world coming to! Ed.)

     6. Do not abstain from manly activities yourself, but do not have your women accompanying you in trousers. Instead attend activities where they can accompany you modestly dressed. Remember that they need your company too.

     7. Never admire women when they are unfeminine or immodest but readily admire them when they are feminine and modest. 9B.

     I hope all men will embrace modesty for themselves, their wives or wives to be, their children and society at large. Many wives will have purchased this book and shared it with their husbands. But there are those few men who will have purchased it and I encourage you to share it with all those women whom you know and love so that they too may be converted from the pagan fashions of this day!
“Mainly through sins of impurity, do the forces of darkness subjugate souls.”
Pope Pius XII
Conclusion: Reparation
     If you have read this far, I hope that the earlier part of this book has convinced you of the truths about modesty in dress and convinced you to make the necessary changes in your wardrobe. In this Part 1, I have brought together as many Bible and Church statements I could find and added some of the many experiences of the Saints to show you how important this issue is. It is a stone upon which much of our spiritual life rests. Modesty can be a great help to our secure progress in developing interior virtues. I have shown how the recovery of this virtue, will help restore chastity in the world and defeat Satan who has used immodesty as his virtue, to drag many souls to hell.

     God thought it was important enough to send down Our Blessed Mother to warn us and remind us to imitate Her as our heavenly model. We can see how She has intervened throughout history because She loves us so much. Our world is headed in a direction from which only Her intercession can stop it and She expects our help through prayers, sacrifices and that modesty in dress She said is so necessary.

     Satan has made an all-out attempt to confuse, discourage and fool us with this issue whether we are aware of it or not. Many of us have been fooled into his trap. As St. John Chrysostom said, “Where virtue is, there are many snares.” And Satan has not neglected to set many ‘snares’ of confusion on this issue.

     Armed with what you now know you have ability to change, to make the choice that will make the difference for you and your family and for those you know.

     The Church has handed us the guidelines that we can use to choose to change our wardrobe (and don’t neglect to keep them in mind when you shop!). I have shared with you, as best as I could, what I considered practical wisdom in regards to senses and behaviour. Read and reread. Pray and share this with your children as they grow, but please practice it!

     Our own spiritual progress is the key to our own salvation. Prayer and sacrifice for sinners are the most important thing we can do for others. Let modesty in dress be just one of the first stepping stones in your spiritual life.

     Let us realize all the truths that the Church has so patiently taught us concerning modesty and let us not ‘protest’ that they are outdated, or some such thing as this then makes us ‘Protestants’ and this we are NOT as part of the Holy Roman Catholic Faith! So, discern very well for yourselves all that you have just learned calling upon the Holy Ghost to guide you. May the Blessed Mother help you and lead you to allow these truths to come in through the wall of your reason and pride. And we pray, that with our help She may crush the infernal enemy, Satan, whose virtue is immodesty, so that Her immaculate Heart may finally triumph! May God be with you!

     Understanding now, the great insult and sacrilege Our Lord patiently endures each day. Let us now say these ‘PRAYERS OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART’ as a first sign of our commitment to making reparation for these sins.
Prayers of Reparation to the Sacred Heart
     O Lord Jesus Christ, deign to look with mercy upon us who come to console Thy Divine Heart and to make amends for our sins and the sins of all mankind. May our promises touch Thy Divine Heart, and obtain mercy for ourselves and for all the guilty world, particularly for those who do not know or love Thee.
     For the forgetfulness and ingratitude of men, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For Thy abandonment in Thy holy tabernacles, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For crimes of sinners, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the hatred of the impious, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the injuries inflicted on Thy Divinity, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the sacrileges which profane Thy Sacrament of Love, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the irreverences committed in Thy holy presence, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the perfidy of which Thou art the adorable Victim, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the coldness of the greater number of Thy children, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the little account they make of Thy love, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the infidelities of those who call themselves Thy friends, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For our resistance to Thy grace, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For our own sins and infidelities, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the hardness of our hearts, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For our long delay in loving Thee, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For our lukewarmness in Thy holy service, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the bitter sadness Thou dost feel at the loss of souls, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For Thy long waiting at the door of our hearts, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For the bitter insults with which Thou art loaded, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For Thy sighs of love, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For Thy tears of love, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For Thy captivity of love, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     For Thy martyrdom of love, we will console Thee, Jesus.
     O Divine Lord Jesus, whose Sacred Heart uttered this sorrowful complaint: “I sought for one to console Me and found none,” deign to accept this feeble tribute of our consolation. Assist us so powerfully by Thy grace that, shunning more and more all that is displeasing to Thee, we may prove ourselves always and everywhere Thy devoted children. We ask this O Jesus, through Thy Divine Heart, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

     Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, as He Himself offers It to Thee in sacrifice. Accept this offering on my behalf, as well as all the desires, affections, movements and acts of this Sacred Heart. They are all mine because this Divine Heart is immolated for me, and I desire henceforth to have only Its desires. Accept them in satisfaction for the sins of the world, and my own sins in particular, and as an act of thanksgiving for all Thy benefits. Through their merits grant me all the graces I need for soul and body, especially the grace of final perseverance. Accept them as acts of love, adoration and praise which I offer to Thy Divine Majesty, because it is through the Sacred Heart of Jesus that Thou art worthily honoured and glorified. Amen.
Imprimatur – Joannes P. Cody, S.T.D.
Episcopus Kansanopolitanus - Sti. Josephi
                                                                                                 Feb. 16, 1959
Questions, Concerns, Practical Tips…
What Me, Sew?
     Now, practically speaking when I began to wear dresses seven years ago, it meant changing not only my own wardrobe but also that of my three daughters! This was no simple task, but I was determined to change. As with many families, money does not float freely in our home, so I had to find an inexpensive way of making the change. What I hope to share with you here are practical tips on how you can make the transition, simply.

     First, there are some wonderful companies dedicated to sewing modest clothing for women. These places are listed in the Resources at the back of this book. At the time of the first printing of this book, all the companies listed were non-Catholic. There are now two Catholic sources! Perhaps there are others who are interested in starting a Catholic Sewing business dedicated to modesty. There is tremendous potential in it I am told. Please let us know if you do!

     For those who are looking for a less expensive way to change their wardrobes, I hope these tips are helpful.

     Some common-sense rules for modesty may not need to mentioned here, but I thought I would include them in hopes of making this book as complete as possible for those who are sincerely searching for some truth and guidance in this subject.

     One cannot help but think of the practical reasons for dressing modestly today. A wonderful lady with amazing perception told me this with the increase in immodesty and the naturalness of impurity today, we will never know just how many errors are being caused by our behavior and dress. When people’s lives are surrounded by sin and they are ruled by their passions, how much is their mind really on their work? For youth, this can mean missed grades and poor learning as they worry if their ‘beau’ is being faithful. For adults caught in this same trap, it can lead to errors at work with a variety of consequences for all of us. If this person’s work happens to be a typing, she may make errors in type. A surgeon perhaps they will miss a very important detail during surgery. Someone working on an assembly line for cars, may miss a bolt or two. An aircraft mechanic, may make the littlest error and bring down a plane! How many work-related accidents today are caused by people’s attachment to impurity, to the distraction of their imagination. We may never know, but it is a thought to be pondered.

     Something I want to mention is unisex dressing. The Prophecy of St. Nilus from the fifth century tells us, “After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable…People’s appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair.” We are all familiar with the kind of clothing that seems to be for men, but seems to be for women too. Many of us, perhaps, are so used to it that we don’t even think of it. These kinds of clothing should be avoided as much as possible. It is important that clothing should reflect the differences between men and women. Boys and girls. In other words, girls clothing should look at least somewhat feminine, not necessarily all frilly, but plain and simply ladylike. Wearing a full skirt or dress that is plain will be feminine enough. This brings us to another common trend today that is part of this ‘unisex mentality’ and that is girls and women having short hair. Often today we see men with long hair walking beside women with short hair! I often think how ludicrous this is! I know many families may not necessarily agree with me, but I do think it is a simple thing to instill in children the fact that boys and girls are different.

     How beautiful and feminine long hair can be. We need to rediscover all the hairstyles for girls that make use of the generous amount of hair, always known to be proper for girls and women. Now I am not advocating extraordinarily long hair, but I think there should be a limit to how short it should be. Our girls always had hair very long, below their waists, if it would grow that long. As the years went on, I always said that the limit that I would trim their hair was no shorter than their armpits. I felt that this would leave their hair just long enough to be long and not short. At this length they could still make use of some variety of hairstyles whereas anything shorter would severely limit these. Our girls also never had layers put into their hair (which I feel de-feminizes their hair) nor did they have bangs (until our second oldest daughter cut her own when she was three!). But I think these are acceptable. Now, these are just my thoughts, but I would stress that girls’ hairstyles should reflect femininity by trying to keep the length below the shoulder even if they do have bangs.

     Boys, of course, should have short hair that is neatly cut. Clothing for boys is not nearly as difficult as girls so I will limit myself here to a few recommendations and go on to girls clothing. In general boys clothing should fit properly and avoid the extreme that is popular today: extra baggy. This trend of overly large clothes is not only unbecoming, but also offends against modesty by looking sloppy. Therefore, avoid trendy styles in jeans that have extra wide pant bottoms. Go for classic styles that are simple and plain. Avoid also, sleeveless shirts or tanks shirts which are inappropriate for young boys as well as men, as well as any clothing with slogans. This doesn’t mean that boys cannot wear casual clothing, but it is simple enough to dress them in a pair of jeans and plain t-shirt with sleeves.

     Another trend for boys is dressing them in shorts. As young boys tumble around in shorts, even if adequately baggy and long, they will nevertheless reveal their underclothing. I think that this is a minor offence against modesty even though the boys don’t realize it and I think it would be best to train your boys don’t realize it and I think it would be best to train your boys from a young age not to wear shorts. Whatever they become used to wearing as a child they will be accustomed to wear as an adult.

     Some may feel I am being too extreme here, but form personal experience, I have seen this on our eldest boy. Boys, to become men in the true sense, should be trained from a young age to be able to withstand the rigors of weather and discomfort. This includes the discomforts of wearing pants when it is very warm. We want our boys to grow up to the become men who are strong, courageous and impervious to discomforts. How awful it is to see men, not having been ‘toughened’ in their youth, constantly complaining. My recommendations is don’t pamper your boys. Dress them in long pants regardless of the weather, using constantly complaining. My recommendations is don’t pamper your boys. Dress them in long pants regardless of the weather, using shorts only for swimming that may be done in the privacy of your home. Give them the examples of our good priests from long ago (or the few priests left today) who wear full length black wool cassocks in blazing heat with no mention of the discomfort.

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